I’d almost forgotten about this old favorite recipe. The original comes from a hard-to-find book, Desserts and Sweet Snacks by Viana LaPlace. The recipe couldn’t be any simpler, and it lends itself to improvisation. You start with a 1-pound container of ricotta cheese. You press the cheese through a strainer to soften it a bit. Then you mix it with 3 tablespoons of cocoa — the better the quality, the better your results. Add 1/4 cup of sugar, and then 3 tablespoons of brandy. All I had was cherry brandy, which worked really well actually.
Then it’s ready — no baking. You can chill it for a while of course. Top with toasted nuts — I used walnuts here, but the original calls for almonds. Sprinkle some more cocoa on top, or maybe powdered sugar (I just went with cocoa), and that’s it. It’s a particularly nice dessert for when it’s hot out, because you don’t have to warm up the kitchen.